Wicca, being classified as an Earth Religion, teaches an awareness of (as well as a respect for) Nature. The cycles of the seasons are about birth, growth, maturity, death and rest. This holds true for all of Nature, including human beings. I guess that’s why I wasn’t too surprised to find that among the energy systems of the body there should be one called “The Five Rhythms.” After all, Wiccans do believe, “As above, so below; as within, so without.”
The Five Rhythms is a Chinese system discovered as early as 3000 b.c.e. that corresponds to the five elements of Fire, Water, Earth, Wood and Metal. These rhythms flow through the other energy systems of the body and leave a vibrational impression on our physical attributes, our health tendencies, and even the characteristics of our personality.
Each element corresponds to a season: Wood is the rhythm of Spring; Fire is the rhythm of Summer; Metal is the rhythm of Autumn; and Water is the rhythm of Winter. The fifth element? Well, there are transition times that were originally thought to occur for about two weeks, four times a year, at the changing of the seasons. In more recent times they have been viewed collectively as one season and called “Indian Summer”. You know, that time after the Autumn Equinox that prolongs Summer, for a while, as if it could hold off Winter and “death” of the old year? So, the element of Earth is the rhythm of Indian Summer.
Just as in astrology, where we really contain all the signs of the zodiac, some are just more emphasized so that we may work with them in this lifetime, so it is true that we contain all five elements/seasons. During the cycle of our human life here, we may even traverse phases of the different seasons, sometimes lasting for years, but one season, or perhaps a combination of two, will, however, characterize a person’s energies. Since like truly does attract like, the energy of your particular rhythm will cause you to vibrate more easily to people, places and actions that correspond to that rhythm. The ones that don’t correspond to your own vibration will be a challenge but will provide a means for growth and learning.
Because we believe we reflect Nature and the Universe, Wiccans also believe in reincarnation. We look at Nature and see that “All that dies is reborn once more.” and know that this is true for us as well. The Five Rhythms have a belief in “the season of the soul”. There are two explanations for this. The first is that as we continue our journey through one lifetime after another, we also travel through each of the five seasons. We may live within the rhythm of a particular season for one or more lifetimes, learning from the lessons that its particular energy offers. The other explanation is that your primary season is the one in which you made the decision to enter this Earth plane. This can be anytime from the moment of conception to as long as three months after birth. Who knows? Both explanation could hold a seed of truth. After all, in astrology, many believe you choose your date and time of birth in order to have the best advantage of the astrological energies to help you in this Earth walk. Why not also choose the season that will help your soul’s actualization and evolution on Earth?
The Rhythm of Winter: Life may appear to have ceased, but it actually holds the promise of things yet to come. Winter rhythm people have childlike enthusiasm due to this promise of beginnings. Their energies may be limited due to the lack of sunshine, but they can retreat and regenerate themselves. Their speech is slow; their walk unhurried. The stress emotion for them is fear, but out of fear they learn to establish boundaries, creating a place of safety. They may have trouble feeling love unless love is lavished on them. The inability to see the future can make commitment hard for them. Dangers, real and imagined, can paralyze them. Maturity turns fear into discerning caution. Keyword: Possibility.
The Rhythm of Spring: These people take a strong stand, demanding their space. They believe in truth and justice. Their power of vision is their strength. They see the truth, the way and can gather their intellect and energies into a plan. They are self-confident and this inspires others, as long as it doesn’t turn to arrogance. Their speech, as well as their walk, is choppy and syncopated. Their stress emotion is anger. Meeting obstacles head-on, if they don’t give way, the anger becomes quick and forceful. Maturity brings healthy determination. Keyword: New Growth.
The Rhythm of Summer: This rhythm is rapid, random, and rising. It’s everywhere at once. It holds the joy and delight of the moment. It is warm and rich, just like Summer, with all of Nature in full bloom and fruition. Thus, Summer people live from the heart and are open and vulnerable. They have passion, charisma and radiance. They bring out that which is positive and hopeful in others. They can become love junkies. Their difficulties lie in discernment and setting priorities. Their optimism and enthusiasm can lead to being overcommitted and exhausted. Their speech is like laughter and their walk is like skipping. Their stress emotion is panic or even hysteria. Maturity brings discerning love and involvement. Keyword: Fulfillment.
The Rhythm of Solstice/Equinox or Indian Summer: Whether you view it as that two-week period during the changing of the seasons or as Indian Summer, this is a time that holds both the past and the future in the present. It creates stability and incorporates change. These people embody justice, fairness and bring support with confidence and compassion to times of change. Obsessive worry may be created from not wanting to rock the boat and to always helping others stay in their comfort zones. Inadvertently, they may actually hold back the progress of others. They may also neglect their own growth amid their joy in helping others. Their speech has a singing quality and their walk is relaxed, light-footed and lyrical. Their stress emotion is codependent sympathy. Maturity brings balanced compassion. Keyword: Transition.
The Rhythm of Autumn: These energies are about the peace of completion; the sense of attainment; the knowing that the old dies to make way for the new. Autumn people see what needs to occur and are very willing to make it happen. They have an urge for perfection and eliminate anything that is impure. There is a sadness as they are empathetic to the world’s grief, but from this sadness comes honesty, integrity and kindness. They can become too serious and shun fun and pleasure. This can make them appear dreary and distant. There may also be feelings of hopelessness, grief, or depression in their search for perfection. Maturity brings an identification with the whole cycle of the seasons as well as a peace with both life and death. Keyword: Ending.
Well, I’ve given you some things to think about and, although there is much more I want to tell you, I want to stop here, for now, so this doesn’t become long and boring. In the next article, I want to talk about how to energy test these rhythms, how to reprogram them and some specific exercises for when you are feeling the stress emotions related to them.
Until then, remember Spring is the season for planting seeds of new growth. Perhaps the information here will help you grow a new garden of health this year…just a thought.